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Thread: Selmer Super Tenor ( cigar cutter )

  1. #1

    Default Selmer Super Tenor ( cigar cutter )

    Hello All:

    I need some help on the following question:

    Do all the Super(s) have that extra "triangle" key guard for low B & low Bb on the left side of the bell ?? The one that I bought (13xxx, 1930) doesn't have it. Is it because of this horn is an "early" super sax ?

    Your great help is appreciated !!

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    I used to own SSS Tenor 13079 which did not have the 'triangle', nor did it have the 'cigar cutter' octave mechanism. I had a 'cigar cutter' alto which had the triangle, but I can't remember the s/n.
    I would guess that up to the 'cigar cutter' models, they didn't have the triangle.
    Cheers, Dave

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    I can't answer your question but I can tell you that I have a 1931 SSS 'Cigar Cutter' Alto (S/N 144XX) and it DOES have the triangle shaped clothing guard.

    FWIW...

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    that 'triangle' thang is, in fact, a 'clothing guard'.
    Selmer must have gotten feedback that the low B/Bb 'spaghetti' key guards were clogging up with clothing and decided to add the guard onto the horns.
    Anyone who sat with the sax on their right side and wore a suit/jacket would likely get their jacket stuck in the key guards.
    Selmer catalogs started listing this as a 'detachable/removeable' clothing guard.

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    I have a Cigar Cutter Tenor with the triangle shape wire B/Bb key guard.
    Serial number 16247 which is a 1932 model.

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    Tissot, You have a "New Largebore" SSS, it is just before the CC, it does not ahve the triabngle type guard on the two lower B's. It also has the "Teapot" octave mech as opposed to cigar cutter styoe, another indicator is that the neck has a separate fastener than the Pyre (music hlder) It is a great horn, only the low B's are difficult as spatulas are small.

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    all Large Bore horns do not have the teapot octave key. In fact, all of the ones i've seen, either personally or in pics, do not have the teapot key. I think the teapot was an experimental thing that Selmer tried off and on, but it never really caught on.

    I've owned 3 or 4 of these 12,000-13,xxx tenors, and they were all decent horns.
    Seen probably 20 others along the way...

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    Someone needs to buy my 1933!

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    Hi AMASAX, I read your last msg about the "Teapot" octave key not always on New largebores, maybe I am identifying the wrong octave mechanism?? I bought this 1930 Tenor sn 13,091 a few months ago in excellent condition. Since Selmer identified it as a Cigar Cutter, I was confused because this horn did not have the cigar cutter type mechanism, it had after many days researching the "New Largebore" what I thought was viewed as this teapot mech/ which seemed ok, because the octave mech did ahve the release appear to look like a real "teapot" with the spout that opens under steam. The few other differences I found was tht the neck tightener is a single attachment, with the music holder (Pyre?) separate. and the pearl F# near the lower right hand keys for I guess chronometric ease. The low B & Bflat are on left side, with a three way rod protecting each key. So if you can describe to me the different octave mechanisms I'd appreciate it. What I describe appears very similar to the octave mechanism on my fairly new Serieiii Tenor. Thanks, Bruce Brennan NY

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    I have seen Altos with and without the cigar cutter keywork but I have never seen a Tenor with it.

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    i've seen a pic or two of tenors with the cigar cutter octave key mechanism, but it seems Selmer made very few of these in the tenor; many more of this key shape in the alto. Plus, the tenors pics i've seen were much later in the series, 16k or 17k, if memory serves.

    One easy way to tell the Super tenors from earlier horns is -generally- the type of receiver at the top of the body, into which the neck fits. One of the design changes in the Supers was to more heavily reinforce the receiver(same design that's carried over up to today's horns). In the Largebore horns(and earlier), the receiver is thin, basically the same thickness as the metal in the body. This was prone to crack, leading Selmer to redesign it.

    I used to own several of these largebore/early Super horns(depending upon how much stock one places in Selmer's serial number charts). Nice horns(tenors; don't really like the altos)...
    Latest one I owned was #13936, and it had the older receiver, no clothing guard, no 'triangle' stamp on the bell, etc. My guess was it was a Euro horn, as no engraving, but was silver plated.
    I think it was a Largebore.

    Now, bear in mind that not only are the serial number charts approximate(and error prone), but also that Selmer phased in new models. That means there was usually overlap within each group(alto, tenor, etc), so it's common to find old/newer models mixed during the transition serial range.

    Also, Selmer phased in new models at different times/serials for sop, alto, tenor, bari.

    The earliest serial I remember offhand for a Super tenor is 14,xxx. For altos, otoh, they were transitioned earlier. The earliest serial I have evidence as being a Super is 11,7xx. Has clothing guard, cigar cutter octave, reinforced receiver, etc. Now, this is quite early in the serial range; enough so that I've wondered if the serial was mis-stamped, and might actually be a 17,xxx horn. Or, mighta been a prototype. BUT, will never know.
    However, i've seen pics of plenty of cigar cutter altos(with cc octave key) in the 14,xxx-15,xxx range, while in the tenors, the cc key seems a bit later in the run.

    All confusing, but remember, Selmer didn't maintain records for us, 70+ years later, they were more concerned with getting the product out the door.

    As to the question in post #1, your horn is most likely a Largebore.
    I've owned three of these in the past, and my guess is it's likely you have a decent horn(depending upon condition).

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    Can anyone document for me what exactly is the "teapot" octave mechanism which is mentioned on saxpics for my 1930 New largebore tenor, 13,091 (listed as Cigar Cutter by Selmer, but definitely NOT.) My horn is in ecxellent condition, it had discoloration from father time, but I used a bikers alloy polish (Simichrome Polish, made in Germany, comes in toothaste type tube) Anyhow this stuff has taken off whatever the discoloration was? to original shiny brass ! !, it has an octave mechanism which resembles the octave mechanism on my fairly newe Serieiii. So according to AMASAX the other day the "teapot" mech/is rare? so if this is not a teapot octave mech, then what the hell is it, as it does resemble a teapots release cap to let steam out?? I guess when I am finished with my delving I'll be some knd of expert on vintage Selmeres, as I have found no one who seems ot know exactly what is what? I have a feeling the "transition horns" have caused much of this. My horn which I am sure is a New largebsore, has what I have learned makes it this model because it has a separate neck tightener, and a separate Lyre (music) holder. All others have these features combine. I also learned that the model 26 does not have any lyre holder at all as Selmer at that time believed those horns would only beused in Orchestras and not marching bands. My horn does have what I think is referred as spagetti wire covering the B &Bflat lower stacks, seems like an X type of guard. Which these two are on left side and make contact with clothes. This hornhas the Selmer markings and the Paris address and does have the small selmer triangle US importers from Elkart INdiana. So If anyone out there would be so kind as to offer any other data as to positively identifying my horn please respond, thanks, Bruce Brennan, NY

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    maybe you oughta post a link/url to some pics of your horn.

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    AMASAX, I wish I could but i don't have the tech ability to use pictures (yet) I have gone through minutia of old hrns including saxpics and Paul Cohen stuff. I see many of our members relate their memory to "Cigar Cutters" as rare, especially the tenors. I guess being an "old timer" and play with older guys than me even (68) anyhow these old pros, Lombardo, castle, Herman graduates, most all in Long Island use Cigar Cutter or Radio Improved or New largebore (Like mine I think) tenors of various years, so I am very familiar with the Cigar Cutter mechanism, you can see the mechanism from across the room it is so different than others, I just got confused when Amasax said tht very few "teapot" style octave keys were actually used, I after seeing one in photo automatically thought mine was that, the photo although not great, seemed to show the classic Selmer octave mech, which is in use today, as I described it looks just like the mech on my Serieiii . So my big question is what the hell is a "teapot" octave mech. If mine is not that ?? Hope I am not confusing everybody. Thansk, Bruce Brennan LI NY
    1930 Selmer #13,091 NOT A CC !!

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    AMASAX, Puzzle solved, see three posts down reply by abadcliche, he sent photo of teapot, I had it all wrong, the teapot is on the neck, a big bulgy thing, not on horn itself, I definitely have a New largebore, Thanks, BB

  16. #16

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    My "Super" tenor, serial 179xx (1933) has the "triangle" guard and not the cigar cutter style octave mechanism, but more like a "sawtooth"/gear type. I could try to post some pics if anyone would like. Also, my tenor has NO engraving. Something odd for that timeframe?

    Thanks!
    John
    Endorser for Unison Saxophones

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    John, Thanks to abadcliche (handle) he solved my porblem, My horn 13,091 is supposed to be a CC but it is a new-largebore. see my post here, also, as the expert saxpics will tell you " If it doesn't have the CC octave mech/ then it's not a CC !!!" So you either have some kind of transitional or a new Balance Action. I also think something strange with no markings. Or does it have markings but no engravings?? Good luck. bb

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by olhonker
    John, Thanks to abadcliche (handle) he solved my porblem, My horn 13,091 is supposed to be a CC but it is a new-largebore. see my post here, also, as the expert saxpics will tell you " If it doesn't have the CC octave mech/ then it's not a CC !!!" So you either have some kind of transitional or a new Balance Action. I also think something strange with no markings. Or does it have markings but no engravings?? Good luck. bb
    Bruce, I tried to send you an e-mail, but for some reason it didn't work.
    Shoot me one at jdgreiner(at)verizon(dot)net and I'll take some pics of my tenor and send to you.

    Regards!
    John
    Endorser for Unison Saxophones

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